Creating your first college schedule can seem complicated and overwhelming. There are so many classes to choose from and on top of that, you have to successfully arrange them all so they fit perfectly into your week.
I feel your pain, and as I’ve just gone through this whole process, I’ve learned a lot of important tips.
Use course review websites
Use websites like Rate My Professor to find the best teachers. Most colleges also have their own versions of these sites where you can search specific classes you are interested in to find out if other students would recommend them.
Get rid of requirements now. Your first year is a great time to do this because you aren’t going to want to be stuck in big, mandatory, freshmen-level classes (such as beginning levels of Calculus or English) during your upperclassmen years.
Try new things
Don’t feel like you should stick to the major you wrote about in your application. College is the time to experiment and try new things. Take classes that look interesting to you, no matter which field they are in.
Don’t overload yourself
Don’t try to challenge yourself too much for your first semester. The whole experience will be difficult and overwhelming no matter what. You’re in a new place with new people and new classes. Go a little easier than you normally would.
Schedule classes together in chunks
If possible, try to group your classes one right after the other. After you finish one class and get on with your day, you’re not going to want to have the stress of going to yet another class in just a few hours. Finish them all in a shorter period of time so you can have the freedom of being completely done for the day early on.
Schedule classes as late as possible
Unless you’re an early bird and waking up at the crack of dawn comes naturally to you, schedule your classes as late as possible. Even if a 9:00 am class sounds super late compared to when high school started, schedule your classes for 10:00 am earliest. In college, almost no one will be up early and you’ll soon get used to the communal schedule.
Don’t forget to schedule lunch breaks
Simple, but a lot of us forget. There’s no lunchtime scheduled in for us, like in high school!
Concentrate your classes towards the beginning of the week
Fun weekend stuff in college usually begins on Thursday night, so try to avoid scheduling Friday classes because you’ll probably be distracted.
Don’t worry too much
You’ll still have time to change classes if you don’t get all of the ones you want. Schedules aren’t finalized until at least the first few weeks of school so you have some wiggle room.
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About Nadira Berman
As a Summer Marketing Intern, Nadira is excited to help high schoolers prepare for the SAT and ACT. As a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, she is considering studying economics. In her free time, she reports for the school newspaper and styles photo shoots for the school's fashion magazine. Besides fashion and journalism, her passions include bagels, smoothies and Netflix.
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